These Christmas Dinner Hacks are brought to you in partnership with Bacofoil. I LOVE Christmas Dinner. it is a real family affair in The Mad House with MadDad doing most of the prep and cooking and we me and the boys making the most of his delicious food.
For us the key to Christmas dinner is to make it as simple as possible, but also as delicious as possible. We want to spend time with the boys rather than in the kitchen and as there is only four of us, we try and make it as easy as we can. I am a big fan of Bacofoil, so am delighted to working with them to share their fab products and also some personal tips and Christmas dinner hacks. Becuase Bacofoil has Christmas all wrapped up.
It is the little things that make a Christmas dinner exceptional and more than a standard roast dinner, but there really is not need to be stress or tied to the kitchen all day.
10 Christmas Dinner Hacks to save you time in the kitchen
Prepare and cook your vegetables in advance – This is key. We always prepare our veg the day before and precook most of it. Also, I am a big fan my three tier steamer. I wouldn’t be without it most Sundays as it free’s up rings on the hob and it is invaluable for cooking delicious vegetables.
Sprouts – love them or loathe them? I used to hate them, but as soon as I stopped cutting crosses in the bottom and boiling them and starting roasting or pan frying them I began to love them. Try shredding them and stir frying them with pancetta and garlic. You will be converted.
For the perfect turkey, crumble a couple of chicken stock cubes over the skin and rub in and take some butter and place under the skin. We also like to cover our turkey with streaky bacon, not only does it protect the breasts, it becomes crispy and is a real treat. We also like to cover Then protect your bird with tin foil and cooking in a Bacofoil easy roasting tray – who wants to wash up on Christmas day?
We use Bacofoils Turkey Crown roasting tray and turkey foil sheets. I love the sheets as they are so easy to store and are perfect for protecting the turkey. Plus who wants to wash up roasting dishes? This year we are also going to be using their easy roasting trays. These are brilliant for roast potatoes, parsnips, sausage meat stuffing and your pigs in blankets. The easy roasting trays sit side by side on one shelf in the oven.
We warm our plates and dishes in the dishwasher – yes, really. Check if your dishwasher has a plate warming setting.if not use a quick wash setting.
Make your gravy before hand and freeze it. Great gravy makes a meal. We have a roast chicken a couple of weeks before and I always ensure that I make a big batch of turkey gravy. Jamie Olivers make ahead gravy is great, but you can also jazz up instant gravy with chicken stock and a knob of butter. Freeze your gravy in a Bacofoil double seal safeloc food and freezer bag and defrost it on Christmas Eve.
Ensure that your roast potatoes have the perfect crispiness, by par boiling, then chuffing them (shaking them around), coating in semolina before roasting them in hot oil (we use rape seed oil). Also, make sure you make more than you think you will need!
Make your stuffing amazing. Take a pack of premix stuffing and skin eight good quality sausages. make the stuffing according to the packet and mix in the sausage meat . Then you can use a cupcake tin to make individual equal sized portions.
There is nothing wrong with shop bought. If you are using shop-bought cranberry sauce, just decant it into a nice jar and add some lemon zest and no one will know.
Don’t worry about dishing up everyone’s plate in the kitchen, just put it all into bowls and turines and place them in the center of the table with some spoons for everyone to serve themselves. There is still time to pick up some fantastic large bowls from charity shops.
If you are not meat lovers then make sure you take a look at Thinley Spread. Chris has some amazing vegan and vegetarian Christmas centerpieces including Chestnut and Cashew Nut Roast and Sweet Potato & Chestnut Pie.